The iPhone and Samsung are the most visible and popular smartphone brands in the world. They are the two largest vendors by profit, and their combined market share is somewhere between 70-90%. However, unlike with Apple and Samsung, the rest of the smartphone market—including Android and Windows Phone—is still largely ignored by the two major players.
There’s nothing like a new smartphone to make us eager to anticipate, then hope, the release of a new one. This year, that little bit of anticipation began in the spring, when rumors of the Galaxy S21 emerged from the depths of the internet. We as bloggers got a hint of its existence when a Samsung employee posted a picture of the device on Instagram, which has since been removed.
Apple is finalizing the certification of Chinese manufacturer BOE Technology Group’s displays for its iPhones. Quoting anonymous sources, a Chinese tech news site reports that Apple is currently aggressively testing flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) BOE screens.
The iPhones of 2020 will not necessarily have screens from Samsung or LG. Apple is reportedly certifying OLED panels from Chicness supplier BOE for use in its iPhones next year, in an effort to cut production costs and gain independence from Samsung.
Samsung has been supplying Apple with screens for its iPhones for several years. The South Korean company has become a reference and guarantees quality in this field. However, according to Nikkei Asia Review, the Cupertino-based company wants to part ways with Samsung, which is very expensive. The iPhone’s panels are the most expensive parts, and Apple is keen to save money at this point.
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BOE will be a major player in the OLED display market. LG, for example, is one of Huawei’s suppliers for smartphones like the Mate 20 Pro. It is also behind the development of the Mate X’s foldable display. For Apple, the BOE’s involvement in the dance has only advantages. It’s cheaper, frees the company from its dependence on Samsung and gives it more room to negotiate with the South Korean company, which may be forced to lower its prices if it wants to continue trading with Apple.
It remains to be seen whether BOE can meet all the quality criteria of the Cupertino-based company, which has already tried (unsuccessfully) in the past to find a credible alternative to Samsung. The report also mentions the possibility of 120Hz screens on at least one 2020 iPhone model. Currently, Apple is reportedly in talks with LG and Samsung.
The Cupertino giant has until the end of the year to choose the Chinese company as its main screen supplier. If BOE passes the test, its OLED panels will be used to produce two iPhone models coming to market next year. According to Nikkei, Apple is looking for new manufacturers to reduce the production costs of its phones and reduce its dependence on Samsung.
The South Korean company, which has been selling its OLED screens to Apple since 2016, dominates the premium display market with a share of more than 90 percent, according to Nikkei.
BOE’s entry into the market as an OLED supplier could threaten Samsung’s position and give Apple more opportunities to cut prices. But amid a trade war between China and the U.S., BOE remains vulnerable to potential restrictions from Washington that could limit access to needed materials supplied by U.S. companies such as 3M, Applied Materials and Corning.
BOE, which began developing flexible OLED screens in late 2017, currently produces displays for Huawei’s Mate X phone, Samsung’s main rival for the Galaxy Fold. OLED screens use an electric current that flows through thin layers of organic semiconductor material to generate light. The properties of the components in these panels offer interesting advantages over the dominant liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, such as deeper colors, better contrast and a thinner surface. The flexibility of the materials also allows for the production of screens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who manufactures Apple LCD?
Apple LCD is manufactured by Samsung Display.
Are iPhone screens made by Samsung?
No, iPhone screens are not made by Samsung.
Who manufactures iPhone displays?
The iPhone is manufactured by Foxconn.
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